Two Douglasville, Ga., women are facing charges of cruelty to a child stemming from a report they disciplined their 6-year-old son by locking him in a dog cage and pouring syrup and cat litter on him.
They also made him hold a brick over his head for 15 minutes, the Douglas County Sentinel reported. The boy apparently has psychological issues, according to police.
The Douglasville Police Department called the incident, “A disturbing case worked by investigators this week,” on its Facebook page
The mother, Crystal Jean Hostetter, 24, and her girlfriend Sarah Elizabeth McClain, 30, were in front of a Douglas County Magistrate Court judge Thursday for a bond hearing and to face the charges.
The newspaper reported the incident occurred Saturday and lasted for about two hours outside the couple’s residence on Hagin Street. Witnesses saw what happened and alerted authorities.
According to the arrest warrant, the boy’s hands and feet were covered with syrup, then cat litter. The dog cage was described as a little longer than a normal-sized cat litter box.
The boy apparently said during the discipline, “Please don’t kill me” and “Do you all love me?”
Douglasville Police Sgt. Todd Garner told the court the boy has psychological issues, and does not like sticky things, and the women knew that. Garner said the boy is supposed to be on medication, but Hostetter has not filled the prescription. He said, “I asked her, ‘You just think that you know more than the doctors?’ She said, yes.”
The extent of the boy’s psychological issues was not clear.
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services went to the home Monday, and the couple apparently admitted to the accusations, according to the Sentinel. The child is staying at the home with an adult caregiver. The women are being held without bond in the Douglas County jail.
The couple reportedly moved from Pennsylvania to Douglasville at the beginning of March. DFCS is investigating to see if there were similar reports about the family in Pennsylvania.